The Wildlife Action Plan

“Securing a Future for Fish and Wildlife: A Conservation Legacy for Iowans”

First approved in 2006, the Iowa Wildlife Action Plan (IWAP) is a 25-year strategy for conservation of all wildlife in Iowa. The IWAP is the result of a cooperative effort between land managers, fish and wildlife biologists, citizen conservationists and others who share an interest in wildlife conservation.

2015 Revision of the Iowa Wildlife Action Plan
The Iowa DNR has submitted the required ten-year comprehensive review and revision of Iowa’s Wildlife Action Plan to the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. All States were required to submit a comprehensive revision by October 1, 2015. Thank you to those who provided input on the draft revision.

Iowa’s revised Plan will be reviewed by a Regional Review Team which is made up of staff from the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service as well as the Director of a different Midwestern State’s Department of Natural Resources. Upon completion of the review process, when Iowa’s revision to the Plan has received approval, the revised Plan will be posted on this page.

The Iowa Wildlife Action Plan – Current (2012) Edition
The Iowa Wildlife Action Plan (IWAP) is a proactive plan designed to conserve all wildlife in Iowa before they become rare and more costly to protect. Developed by a coalition of scientists, sportsmen and women, conservationists, and members of the public, this plan can help us protect wildlife and the places they live for future generations. If the steps in the action plan are successfully carried out, Iowa will have cleaner water and air - a healthy environment for people and wildlife.

Securing a Future for Fish and Wildlife: a Conservation Legacy for Iowans cover

Iowa’s Wildlife Action Plan is the first attempt ever to enumerate most of the state’s wildlife and evaluate the status of each species. It also examines stresses on wild creatures or their habitats and lays out visions and strategies to conserve wildlife over the next 25 years.

Originally called the Iowa Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan, the IWAP identifies 999 species of birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, mussels (freshwater clams), land snails, butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies. Nearly one-third of all species found in Iowa are of concern due to their decline across Iowa. Although plant species are not listed in this wildlife plan, plant communities are addressed as an important part of the habitats for most of Iowa’s wildlife.

Wildlife Action Plans are required of all 50 states, five U.S. territories, the District of Columbia and several Native American tribes receiving these annual grants from Congress through the State Wildlife Grants (SWG) program. Iowa DNR has received more than $8.5 million from 2001-2012, with funds used to enhance its Wildlife Diversity Program through increased research, habitat protection, and management for "species of greatest conservation need". Iowa must match the SWG income dollar-for-dollar with non-federal funds. 

The Iowa Wildlife Action Plan

Recent Iowa Success Stories Resulting from the Plan - An Overview

The entire Iowa Wildlife Action Plan is provided below. Because of plan's large size, it has been separated into multiple files for faster downloading. The 16-page Executive Summary offers a very brief look at the condition of Iowa's wildlife and habitats, plus visions for the future, without the extensive tables, maps and other data provided in the complete 366-page plan.

Iowa Wildlife Action Plan - Executive Summary
Iowa Wildlife Action Plan - Chapters 1 and 2: Introduction; Status of Iowa's Natural Communities
Iowa Wildlife Action Plan - Chapter 3: Species of Greatest Conservation Need
Iowa Wildlife Action Plan - Chapters 4 and 5: Habitats; Stresses on Iowa's Wildlife
Iowa Wildlife Action Plan - Chapters 6 and 7: Vision for 2030; Research Surveys and Monitoring
Iowa Wildlife Action Plan - Chapter 8: Priorities and Geographic Opportunity Areas
Iowa Wildlife Action Plan - Chapters 9 and 10
         - Plan Coordination, Implementation and Review; Cost of Sustaining Iowa's Biodiversity
Iowa Wildlife Action Plan - Appendices 1-12
Iowa Wildlife Action Plan - Appendices 13-17
Iowa Wildlife Action Plan - Appendices 18-21

Copies on CD-ROM also are available by telephone request at 515-494-6136, by email request to, or by writing: Katy Reeder, Wildlife Action Plan Manager, Wallace Bldg., 502 East 9th Street, Des Moines, IA 50319-0034.